O&P experts offer tips on preventing diabetic complications | Amputee veteran helps invent socket cooling system | Bacterial research could improve life of prostheses
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May 8, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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O&P experts offer tips on preventing diabetic complications
The work of pedorthists and O&P practitioners plays a large role in preventing diabetic complications such as amputation, according to this article, in which O&P professionals offer advice on treating patients with diabetes. Suggestions include staying up-to-date with the latest treatment regimens; educating patients who have already had ulcers or toe amputations to avoid future problems; and trying different techniques. Experts also advise practitioners to clearly explain how patients' compliance will affect their health and to be good models themselves for healthy habits. O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (5/2014)
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Science and Technology
Amputee veteran helps invent socket cooling system
After losing his leg to an improvised explosive device in Iraq, Army Sgt. Gary Walters enlisted the help of three fellow engineering students at the University of Texas at San Antonio to develop the Aquilonix Prosthesis Cooling System, which thermoelectrically cools the area between a prosthetic socket and the residual limb. The device won the first-place award in a $100,000 competition sponsored by the university's Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship, and the inventors' new company, Leto Solutions, hopes to bring the system to market this year. ABC News (5/8)
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Bacterial research could improve life of prostheses
Biologists at Indiana University will use a $6.2 million Army Research Office grant to study how bacteria evolve in response to selective changes. The practical applications of their work could include understanding biofilms that cause damage to prosthetic devices, according to this article. PhysOrg.com (5/7)
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Medical News
WHO raises worldwide alarm on spread of polio
The recent detection of polio across 10 countries in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East prompted the World Health Organization to declare on Monday the spread of the disease as an international public health emergency. The agency said Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon should require their residents to present a certificate proving that they have been vaccinated against the disease before traveling abroad. WHO also said seven other countries should encourage travelers to be vaccinated. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/5), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/5)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Study: Medicaid enrollment up, particularly in states with expanded eligibility
According to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation on the Affordable Care Act, overall Medicaid enrollment grew an average 8.2% between summer 2013 and March 2014, and enrollment is expected to continue. States that expanded their Medicaid programs experienced a 12.9% enrollment increase, compared with only 2.6% in states that did not. BeckersHospitalReview.com (5/7)
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Trend Watch
Ads take lighthearted approach to dealing with people who have disabilities
"Life is full of awkward moments" is the tagline for a series of humorous ads from the British charity Scope designed to make people feel more comfortable around those with disabilities. The spokesman in each ad is Alex Brooker, a comedian who has a prosthetic leg. One of the spots gives advice on how to shake hands with a person who is missing his right hand. The Drum (Glasgow, Scotland) (5/8)
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Company offers custom-designed prostheses
Leg amputees who send UNYQ a set of measurements and photos of their existing limb can receive a stylishly designed model, made from a 3D printing process, with a unique shape and design. "We are about restoring the body shape and the symmetry and aligning to your body as much as possible," says UNYQ founder Eythor Bender. The company also offers noncustom legs for bilateral amputees. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (5/7)
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Business and Finance
Touch Bionics on road to profitability
Touch Bionics, the U.K. maker of advanced prostheses, experienced a 23% increase in annual revenue from 2012 to 2013 and is on track to becoming profitable, according to board Chairman George Borthwick. "The next year will show increased growth in sales and expansion into European markets, whilst continuing with the strong [research and development] program," he said. The Herald (Glasgow, Scotland) (5/8)
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7 tactics to help you manage your cash flow
Several basic practices can improve cash flow for small businesses, beginning with prioritizing bills and paying them in sequence rather than all at once, writes David Sederholt, chief operating officer of Strategic Funding Source. Also, consider working with a payroll service, and be sure to build strong relationships with your credit provider and bank. Forbes (5/6)
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Breaking news from AOPA
AOPA has a bipartisan letter to Secretary Sebelius at HHS requesting a suspension of RAC audits until OMHA can provide an ALJ hearing within 90 days of request, as required by BIPA 2000. Contact your representative to restore due process -- send your letter today! AOPA 2014 National Assembly registration is open. Register today and get your hotel reservations -- we'll see you in Vegas! DME MACs have confirmed the delay of ICD-10 codes implementation -- get the scoop here! Ottobock promotes Scott Weber in Socket Technologies and a Hanger team-up provides an 18-year-old with a bionic hand -- all of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
May 14:  Modifiers: How & When to Use Them (Telephone audio conference) Learn more or register online.
June 12-13: Mastering Medicare: Coding & Billing Seminar, Boston, Mass. Learn more or register online.
Sept. 4-7: AOPA 2014 National Assembly, Las Vegas, Nev. Learn more.
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